Cannabis for First-Timers

First time marijuana user? Check this out!
If your state just legalized weed and you are excited to try marijuana for the first time, you’re not alone. There are citizens of several states where cannabis is now decriminalized anxious to finally try pot legally. Some first timers may not know what to expect, but luckily there is information available from long-time smokers to help you out. Do your research before you decide when, where and what to smoke for the first time with these helpful hints and tips.

Your Miles May Vary
The first thing to know about weed is that lots of people have different experiences. This is especially dependent upon your tolerance level, which you will get to know as you sample different strains and find out what it takes to get you to that sweet spot. Some first time smokers say that during their first experience, they felt absolutely nothing. Others report feeling amazing, sleepy, giddy, hungry, giggly and other feelings. Getting high is a completely personal experience that may change your life, but it is also not the same experience for everyone. You may even discover that it’s not for you, which is also totally okay.

Plan Ahead
Your first joint should not be a spur of the moment decision simply because you don’t know how you will react. You want to avoid embarrassing yourself, doing something stupid in front of someone who wouldn’t understand or disapprove (obviously your boss, but perhaps your in-laws or parents, too) or putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. If you have kids, you may want to book a babysitter. A good idea is to plan to stay in your home. Many smokers suggest planning some funny entertainment, such as a comedy film, to enjoy while you smoke. You can also create a song playlist to enjoy while high. Smoke at night to avoid napping during the day and throwing off your sleep schedule.

Prepare to Buy
When you buy your weed, you will need an ID to verify your age. A medical marijuana card may also work depending on your state’s laws. Avoid going to the shop at closing time so you have plenty of time to peruse and make your decision. Ask the budtender for advice about strains to try or any products you are interested in. Many are quite knowledgeable and ready to help you right away. Bring a friend to shop with if he or she is knowledgeable if you like. Then you won’t feel pressured and you’ll have someone to shop with alongside you.

Don’t Compare
One thought that many first timers express is that pot is very different from other drugs. This is a surprise because the government classifies it on the same level as harder drugs known to damage and cause great harm when, in fact, pot is a much lesser drug in terms of its effects. Sure, it still has some harmful effects but they aren’t comparable to heroin or cocaine. Once you smoke pot successfully, it does NOT mean that you will be A-OK to try other drugs. In fact, just leave the other drugs alone!

Sharing Pot
Sharing a joint is the most typical first-time experience for people, but now that pot is legal where you live, you don’t have to sneakily steal a toke with a friend in the woods (although you can still pass it or a bowl around for fun and companionship). You can purchase it on your own at any legal shop. You can also purchase it in a wide variety of forms, from edibles to pre-rolled joints, oils to vapes and many other options.

The Key to Legalization: Make It Personal

Want legal weed? Let your representatives know. Make a big deal... it is one.

Mike Weinholtz, a candidate for governor in Utah, pressed for marijuana reform after his wife was arrested for using cannabis. She pled guilty to a misdemeanor crime for having two pounds of the Schedule I substance in their home, and act that the couple says she did in order to combat severe arthritis and degenerative spinal disease. Stories like this one have become more and more common across the nation as people who were once hard on drugs come to realize that not only does marijuana have a plethora of benefits for various diseases and health conditions, but that the people they care about can benefit from the drug, too. Sometimes all it takes is to see how the drug can benefit someone in the community. Jack Splitt was instrumental in changing marijuana laws before the teen’s passing last year. Cyndimae Meehan, a teen with Dravet Syndrome who changed the minds of hundreds of people who knew her, also passed away last year due to a seizure. Time and time again, it’s been proven that to make people understand an issue and support it, it has to be made personal. Weinholtz emotionally asked the press, "What would you do if the person you love most in the world was faced with that decision? Would you report them to the police? Would you insist they stop and live with pain too severe to sleep at night?”Unfortunately too many politicians see the error of their ways too late, after they’ve ruined thousands of lives with their War on Drugs, ridiculous policies and fear campaigns. How many lives could have been improved with the inclusion of medical marijuana, or simply saved without incarceration? How many families would not have been torn apart over mere pot charges?In order to push for decriminalization and full legalization, constituents should keep the following tips in mind.

  • ·        
    Keep it personal. Share your personal stories with legislators, not only
    in letters and phone calls, but in person. If you or a loved one has been
    affected by marijuana laws, show your legislator face to face.
  • ·        
    Debunk the myths. Use a handy fact sheet like the one at Drug Policy to
    show your legislators that many of the truths they cling to, as Obi Wan Kenobi
    said, depend greatly upon their point of view (just don’t tell them in that
    way). Point out that myths like pot being a gateway drug or being as bad for
    your health as alcohol are simply not true.
  • ·        
    Provide your government officials with facts about how helpful pot is in
    terms of health as well as in tax revenue possibilities. Some politicians will
    stay hardened until that almighty bottom dollar is met so appeal to those
    interests as well.
  • ·        
    Don’t let up. Staying focused on the issue and pressing for it every
    week (every day if you can) is the best way to keep the momentum you gain going.



CBD Oil: Medicine, Not Hard Drugs

Pot lovers have been meeting the wave of legalization across America with mixed emotions. Some are thrilled that they are no longer criminalized for holding a small amount of pot, smoking a joint in the comfort of their own homes or even growing a few plants on their property. Others worry that with legalization will come strict regulations that put organic pot farmers out of business. Some also fret that the government will step in and make it harder on pot users overall with new laws despite legalization.

This last worry is coming true as we speak. The feds are stepping in, dubbing CBD oil as bad as heroin—quite literally. Cannabidiol is now considered a Schedule I drug, courtesy of the DEA. According to the announcement (if you can call it that; the move, like many things in government these days, was pretty hush hush),  there is now “a separate code number for marihuana extract with the following definition: ‘Meaning an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant.’ Extracts of marihuana will continue to be treated as Schedule I controlled substances.”

There is really no reason for this classification except for the fact that pot itself is still a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Since oil is now a popular alternative to smoking pot, the DEA decided to just swoop in and render it worse than it is to make sure no one gets away with using it where it’s still criminalized.

Some people might know that different countries often have totally different laws that make absolutely no sense. Companies like Kellogg, for example, may make a product with a bunch of dyes in it for Americans but make something without dyes or even preservatives for a country that has outlawed them. The same goes for other chemicals, ingredients and even pesticides that are totally legal in America but are not outside the country. Why the same protections can’t be granted for people everywhere, who knows, but the point is that England, despite the whole Brexit fiasco, still knows better than to render CBD oil some horror movie construct.

In fact, the people of Britain just reclassified cannabidiol as a medicine rather than a harmful substance. Make all the jokes you want about Brits being more uptight and proper than Americans but they know the value of a good medicine when they see it. Discovering that CBD oil is effective in treating various illnesses, particularly the symptoms of epilepsy, Britain’s Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency not only classified the substance as a legit medical drug, but also made it legal across the board in the country for those who use it for medical purposes.

According to the MHRA, ““The change really came about with us offering an opinion that CBD is in fact a medicine, and that opinion was based on the fact that we noted that people were making some quite stark claims about serious diseases that could be treated with CBD.”

This is great news for everyone in England who can benefit from the oil and yet another example of how another nation is ahead of the United States in terms of both quality of life and respect for citizens, let alone forward thinking.

The good news is that it’s not too late for the United States to jump on board the green wagon. All it takes is a proponent in the right position to push for the removal of cannabidiol (and cannabis itself) from the Schedule I list.


Weed Bibliophiles Bucket List

How about some "reading" to go with your weeding?
Whether you are embarking on a new annual reading challenge at Goodreads, creating your own book bucket list for 2017 or you just want to learn more about cannabis, there is a plethora of books published about pot to choose from. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it’s a good starting point to get you better acquainted with cannabis this year through your reading habits. 

When you just want to devour all of the news there is to know about cannabis, the drug’s history and the politics behind it, Holland’s book is a great place to start. It is jam packed with facts, figures, historical data and scientific research. Best of all, the book is pretty current, giving you a more accurate account of the history of cannabis than many outdated books.

A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition by Alyson Martin
Martin’s book is a contemporary one, written in 2014, and it’s fantastic for those who want to push for pot legalization wherever they live. Martin refers to the illegality of pot as prohibition, which is a much more accurate term than most media outlets give it, and she provides a deep look at locations that have dismantled prohibition in their areas, how it’s affected the War on Drugs overall and how each location managed to push for pot to become legal. Activists around the country are already crying for constant vigilance, forward thinking and work to keep or obtain rights and marijuana is no exception. Martin has some great insights that will help people on the ground work towards legalization.

Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know by Jonathan Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, & Mark Kleiman
Although a bit more dated than Martin’s book, 2012’s Marijuana Legalization takes it a step further, offering 150 most commonly asked questions about pot and their answers. It gives people a handy guide to share with naysayers as well as a single place to find all of the data and answers to questions like, “Would legalization increase marijuana use and dependence?” 

The Hasheesh Eater: Being passages from the Life of a Pythagorean by Fitz Hugh Ludlow
A book written in 1857 may sound like a stuffy tome worthy of doorstop status alone, but Ludlow’s text is one of the most lauded books about weed to date. It’s been through many reprints and discusses the author’s autobiographical accounts of experimenting with Tilden’s Extract in New York. The best thing about its age is that you can also read it online for free.

Some readers particularly enjoy the vivid, detailed accounts of the visions that Ludlow writes about after taking the extract, and many cite the book for the popularity of the “hasheesh candies” sold in New York following publication.
Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes

Whether your state just made it legal to grow pot, you are a grower looking for tips or you are just interested in how pot is grown, Cervantes’ book is your best bet. Not only is it packed with over 500 pages of tips and growing information, making it one of the most complete books about cannabis cultivation ever written, but it also features over 1,000 photos and illustrations, which helps growers so much. 

Savory Cannabutter and Weed Foods

Marijuana edibles can be savory or sweet!
When you mention edible marijuana, most people think of baked goods—brownies, chocolate chip cookies, blondies, what have you. Some may even think about candies, chocolates and even sweet beverages that are available on the market. Most people don’t think about infusing their regular meals with weed, but lots of people do that on a regular basis. Sure, you can use your typical sweet cannabutter recipe for cinnamon rolls and cake, but what will you do when you want some marijuana content in, say, your soup?

Enter savory cannabutter, your solution to adding cannabis to your regular meals. You can sub it for butter in just about any recipe, changing your food with one easy step. To make your savory cannabutter, you can start out with a basic cannabutter recipe. You may already know how to do this. If you are unfamiliar with heating your cannabis for THC activation and adding it to melted butter, be sure to visit the helpful video at The Cannabist. When you do heat your cannabis be sure it bakes for at least 40 minutes. The Cannabis also recommends the rule of about each gram of cannabis equaling 100 mg of THC in your cooking.
To make your cannabutter savory, you can soften (don’t melt it!) your butter and mix in your favorite savory ingredients. You can choose any pre-mixed herbal mixtures from your favorite herb shop, like pizza blends, Tuscan mixes and Asian spice composites, or mix and match your own to create flavorful new butters. You could even spread your butter on toast for a quick, cannabis-laden snack.

Garlic herb butter is a favorite for lots of people. You can mix in a clove of fresh garlic (garlic powder is fine if you don’t have a fresh bulb around; garlic salt can also work if your butter is unsalted) by itself for that tangy taste, or add in a bit of parsley, scallions, salt and pepper for a truly tasty blend. 
For a general savory herbed butter blend, try mixing in fresh chives, dill, parsley, thyme, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. This recipe is great for cooking vegetables, serving on top f corn on the cob, and other simple dishes.

If you’re serving a special meal for your sweetheart, you might want to make some red wine butter. Boil some minced shallots in red wine until the wine is nearly gone, then cool it before mixing it in with your cannabutter. Mix in some salt, pepper, and parsley and voila, you have an extra special flavor for your meal bread, steak or other special meal component. This one is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Don’t want to add cannabutter to your recipe but still want to infuse it with cannabis? Try some canna olive oil. All you need are two cups of oil and an ounce of good, strong marijuana to make it. Use the same steps you use to make cannabutter to create an easy to use oil for your savory cooking needs.

Cannabis Oils 101

Learn about concentrated THC products!

After the DEA made cannabis oil a Schedule I drug in a recent, undercover move that has left pot enthusiasts fuming, oils and concentrates are back in the limelight, under public scrutiny. If the government says something is harmful for you, after all, doesn’t that mean you should be wary of it (paying no heed to the chemicals in everything from foods to personal care products to pesticides that foreign governments have outlawed but the United States says are A-OK)? Unfortunately that’s just not always the case. Here is some helpful information about some oils to help you make an informed decision about their use.

Butane Hash Oil

Also known as BHO, Butane Hash Oil is one of the most potent forms of cannabis you can use. When you hear the term dabbing, this is one of the substances it refers to. You use BHO through vaporization, but instead of, say, a vaporizer pen, BHO is received through butane extraction, which is obviously where it gets its name. You’ve heard of waxes? That’s BHO. BHO gets hard when it’s extracted, resulting in a glass-like substance that many refer to as “shatter.” It looks like a honeycomb and is one of the best ways to take in a lot of THC at once. Its strength makes it a popular choice for people who suffer from chronic pain and require strong relief fast.

BHO can often be compromised, however. Be sure to get it from a reputable seller since poorly made shatter can still carry butane in it, which you don’t want to take in.


If you’ve seen a tar-like oil, you were probably checking out RSO. It’s a product that can be taken orally, but you can also apply it directly to your skin. The name RSO makes it sound like there’s going to be some long, scientific description for this oil, but in reality, it stands for a man’s name. Rick Simpson Oil, or Phoenix Tears, was designed by a man who wanted to combat his own disease, skin cancer, with cannabis somehow but couldn’t find a great way to do so.

Keep in mind two things about RSO. One, it may be called something entirely different depending on the business that is selling the substance. Two, not all RSOs have psychoactive elements. Some do have a high level of THC but many don’t, so be sure to check before you buy.

CO2 Oil 

Those vape pens you see everyone carrying around? If there’s cannabis in it, it’s a CO2 oil being used. That’s not to say that vape pens are the only method of delivery, but they are the most common. A combination of carbon dioxide and pressure are used to extract the cannabis from the plant in this method, hence the name. When you go into a shop and look through the various CO2 cartridges available, this is what you are browsing. It’s popular because of its portability as well as the discretion people can use with it, since it looks just like a typical vape pen.

Tips for Growing Weed (where it is legal)

Marijuana needs water, light, time, and room to grow!

Growers are becoming more excited by the day as more states legalize not only the possession of pot but the growing of the plants as well. Although still illegal in most states, some states do allow a few plants per person or household. Growing weed may seem simple but, as with any crop, a few tips and tricks can help your crop flourish. Here are just a few things that seasoned pot growers recommend for any grower, whether you’re a newb or have plenty of years under your belt.

Assemble Everything You Need

Growing plants is akin to raising pets. You need to get all of your supplies and gear ready before you bring your actual pet home! Do all of your research and make sure you have the lighting, nutrients, and even your plans in place if something goes wrong, such as a bug infestation. Fertilizer is also important! Get something that is high in nitrogen until your plants begin to flower. After that, choose a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. Preparation is a huge part of growing any crop and pot is no exception.

Start with Seeds

As tempting as it may be to begin your crop with clones, it can have some devastating effects. Your original clone may bring with it unwanted disease that will ruin your plants. It may also carry insects and other pests into your home, which is bad for both your yield and your home—not to mention your sanity. Getting rid of bugs can be a full-time job. Lastly, any genetic deficiencies that the mother plant carries will also unfortunately be carried by your subsequent plants—hence, seeds are recommended to start your plants.

Be Selective When It Comes to Genetics

Profiling by genetics is unethical in humans, but it’s crucial in plant growing. Pay extra for plants and seeds with tried and true genetics and read up about them as much as you can. Growers will tell you that genes are everything when it comes to a quality crop.

Give Your Plants Extra Sun

Pot plants need LOTS of sun—much more sunlight than they can usually get in a kitchen window. Buy some proper lamps to ensure that they receive more light when you grow indoors. This may be a costly investment at first but if you plan on growing marijuana (and other light hungry indoor crops, for that matter) on a long-term basis, this will be one of the best purchases that you ever make.

Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation

In addition to sufficient light, your marijuana plants also require a very good ventilation system. While many people grow their plants in an enclosed area for various reasons, they should still ensure that their plants receive plenty of space and good airflow to keep them healthy and happy.

Curing Time

When you have buds that you want to cure, keep in mind that the longer your flowers are cured, the mellower they’ll get during the process. You will discover your own preference in no time as you learn the ropes through trial and error.

While it may currently be ILLEGAL to grow your own weed, even in states where marijuana is recreation-ally legal, these tips can come in handy for all types of gardening. To grow weed, you need a lot of energy, water, and time to create the perfect plant - just like in any other gardening endeavor. 


Famous People Arrested for Possession

David Bowie enjoyed marijuana in the 70's. Now he might be enjoying in his 70's.

They may not stay in jail for long—if at all—but plenty of celebs you know (and maybe even admire) have been busted at some point or another for possessing pot. As we all know, possessing pot is one of the most ridiculous offenses on the books, especially given that alcohol and cigarettes cause so much more harm than weed while they remain fully legal (with some exceptions). New laws that render pot possession and use legal in some states but not others are to be celebrated in the states issuing the new freedoms, but they also further the injustice regarding use state by state. Why does a person in one state get charged with a felony and another with a misdemeanor while in yet a third state the person could simply visit a dispensary without legal ramifications?

Until the laws all catch up with the times, we will continue to have people arrested for the possession, use and sale of marijuana. Celebrities are among them. Here are a few famous people who were arrested for possession.

Snoop Dogg

Snoop is one of the most beloved advocates of weed alive. Not only has the man sung about the virtues of weed, but he’s even gone on video to speak up for its legality. He has been arrested twice for possessing pot. The first incident occurred in Los Angeles in 1998. He only received a citation on that occasion. Just three years later, in 2001, Snoop was fined $250 after he pled no contest to having 200 grams on his tour bus while in Cleveland. Snoop is one of those weed aficionados here to stay and fans of both the rapper’s work and his advocacy will always be grateful for him.


OK, his name wasn’t really Gilligan. It was Bob Denver. But anyone who hears the name Gilligan knows who that name refers to. The goofy titular character from Gilligan’s Island went through a marijuana arrest back in 1998 for just two ounces of weed. He’d had the pot delivered to his home, which may not have been the brightest idea. An arrest for two ounces seems like such a waste of taxpayer time and money.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

1998 seems like it was a terrible year for celebrities getting caught with their pot. Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was arrested for marijuana possession that year after he was caught with a tiny bit of the drug at the airport. (The airport, really? How cliché.) Then he was arrested again for driving under the influence of pot in 2000. He paid the fines for his arrest and maintained that the use of the drug was strictly for assisting with the nausea that accompanied his migraines, which is definitely one of the many benefits that pot can have.

Mick Jagger

Back in 1970, Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger went to court to deny his charges of possessing marijuana resin alongside his girlfriend at the time, Marianne Faithfull. While Faithfull escaped the conviction, Jagger was fined £200 with 50 guineas costs for possession.

David Bowie

When singer David Bowie was arrested for marijuana possession back in 1976, he had enough on him for plenty of friends—half a pound, in fact. While the Goblin King should have faced a minimum of 15 years under the law at the time for that amount of weed, he was able to have his charges lifted and walk away without jail time.

Matthew McConaughey

The strangest story in this list may be that of McConaughey. The actor was dancing naked and playing bongo drums, so his neighbors put in a tip that he was high to the cops in 1999, leading to his arrest.


Delicious "Weed Mug" Cake Recipes

Weed and Cake in a mug? Why not?

Like making those cute little mug cakes for dessert? They are perfect for single servings and a quick sugar fix, but did you know that you can also make them into marijuana edibles with a few tweaks? You can obviously substitute your butter with cannabutter, but here are some more specific recipes to try if you would like to sample some yummy weed mug cakes.

In general, it’s best to eat your cake on an empty stomach for the strongest effects. It will take up to 45 minutes for the full effects of your edibles to really become apparent.

Chocolate Weed Mug Cake

4 Tbsp flour

4 Tbsp sugar

3 Tbsp canna butter

2 Tbsp cocoa

3 Tbsp chocolate chips

1 egg

Splash vanilla extract

Mix all of your ingredients together in a mug, save for the canna butter. Fold that in last. Heat your mug in the microwave for three to five minutes until your cake is ready to consume. For best results, melt your marijuana butter. Add milk if you want your cake to have a softer texture. It is normal for your cake to rise slightly above the rim of your mug.

This recipe goes great with some slow churned vanilla ice cream. Serve it on top of your cake once it’s cool, or slide your cake out onto a plate to serve alongside your ice cream. If you enjoy the flavor of graham crackers or marshmallows, experiment with a chocolate s’mores cake instead. Just use canna butter for the butter in the recipe.

Canna Butter

Wondering how to make your own canna butter? Once you’ve mastered this little trick you can make just about any baked edible there is. You will need:

1 oz decarbed marijuana

2 c water

2 c unsalted butter

Grind the pot until it’s completely in powder form to work with if it’s not already, then boil the water and melt your butter inside the water. Stir in your powder until you achieve a general smoothness, eliminating any bumps along the way. Simmer this mixture, covered, for five to six hours, checking in on the canna butter every hour to make sure it’s not reducing too fast. Once the tiny bubbles on top of the mixture stop popping up, you know your canna butter is nearly ready. 

Let your canna butter sit for a few minutes to cool off a bit before you strain it with cheesecloth to get the butter solution. Store it in a dry container in your refrigerator, then blot the excess moisture after 24 hours of resting. You can then separate your canna butter into smaller portions if you wish, which may make it easier to use. 

For more recipes, be sure to check out a copy of Stoner Mug Cakes by Dane Noon. You can get it at Amazon and other online book sellers and it’s full of other great recipes for stoner goodies. The collection of 25 cakes even features full photos so you can really see what you are doing and if your cakes turned out right.


Period Pain Begone with Pot Tampons

TCH tampons? What will they think of next?

For years, women have been arguing that pads, tampons and other feminine hygiene products be improved in various ways. While the cup, reusable pads, underwear with built-in protection and other inventions have made some headway in this department, there are still so many things that can be done. How about pads that come with chocolates or pain killers? How about pads that actually tackle the pain of period cramping themselves?

The answer to this last possibility is here with new marijuana tampons. Given that it is considered to be medical marijuana, these suppositories may eventually be available for purchase to any women in the 23 states where medical pot is legal as long as state laws (usually requiring prescriptions) are followed. Currently they are only available in Colorado and California. Users of the tampons say that their cramps have disappeared in as early as 20 minutes following insertion, giving women with chronic menstrual pain hope for better living.

Foria, a company that has also produced marijuana lubricants and other personal care products, has not yet had their product approved by the FDA or in clinical trials yet, but the company states that they intend to help women manage their periods naturally on their website. “Our intention is to share the powerful medicinal properties of this plant while utilizing modern extraction techniques to standardize purity and potency, thereby ensuring a safe and accessible experience for all women. Each serving contains a specially formulated blend of THC and CBD, cannabinoids which are known to relax muscles and release tension and cramping in the body. Through the use of a suppository these antispasmodic and pain relieving properties go directly to the area in need of relief. The plant medicine works with your body to gently, yet profoundly, shift your unique experience in a holistic and natural way.”

Many women experience debilitating pain with their periods each month. While some experience no pain at all, others have pain that is comparable or worse to appendicitis, gallstones and kidney stones. While women with severe cramping should still see their doctors in order to diagnose possible problems like dysmenorrheal, women with different levels of pain may still be able to obtain relief from marijuana tampons.

In addition to menstrual cramping, women can also experience relief from the back pain that often accompanies their menstrual cycle with marijuana tampons. Not only do they work fairly quickly, but the products also deliver results without causing a psychotropic high, allowing women to live and work confidently without sacrificing time for their periods as many often must do. 

Some women say the tampons smell like cookie dough or cookie butter, which is simply another fun benefit. While the products do cost much more than the average tampon at $44 for a pack of four, the price may be worth it for women who have a hard time finding relief from painful symptoms. The suppositories can be inserted 15 minutes prior to regular tampons to enable the vaginal walls to absorb the medicine and provide quick relief.